Louis Khan once said, “We only know the world as it is evoked by light.” This strange, ephemeral substance touches and shapes every part of our physical world. While we cannot fully explain it, as Architects we can, and must, harness it. Such harnessing can look like a lot of things from day-lighting to task lighting to background lighting. Considered below are seven examples of the ways we use light, helpfully ordered in the acronym “D.E.T.A.I.L.S.”:
D – Decorative (Decorative lighting is secondary to overall lighting and adds accent the architecture)
E – Exterior (Exterior lighting obviously concerns the exterior of a building, and often deals with the character and safety of a building at night)
T – Task (Task lighting focuses on special and localized uses within a building)
A – Architectural (Architectural lighting deals with molding space- coves, wall washes, etc.)
I – Interior (Interior lighting covers general lighting of indoor spaces, needed for everyday use)
L – Landscape (Landscape lighting surrounds a building, focusing on paths, trees, etc.)
S – Specialty (Specialty lighting serves to highlight unique components of a space such as artwork)
Light is the framework in which architecture exists, and details are the building blocks which create it. The two are intrinsically linked, and reside at the heart of good design.
Special thanks to VBFA’s Senior Lighting Designer, David Schad, for sharing the “D.E.T.A.I.L.S.” Concept. Used by Permission (www.VBFA.com).